Album Review: Oliver Hazard – Oliver Hazard

Oliver Hazard brings together the work of three individual singers, songwriters and multi-instrumentalists who collectively perform under the same name.

By Graeme Smith

Feature photo by Shervin Lainez

Based in Ohio, USA, Oliver Hazard are Michael Belazis and Devin East who share vocals and guitar duties, and Nate Miner who mans the keys and also provides vocals. Childhood friends, they recorded their debut LP 34 N River in 2018. A year later saw the release of EP The Flood and now we welcome their second, self-titled, full-length.

Oliver Hazard opens with Ballerina. As you’d expect from its title, it’s a delicate, light track full of movement. Soft vocal harmonies paint a romantic story, and there’s a relatable, folksy feel to the instrumentals. It’s a welcoming start that makes you want to hear more.

Two x Four gives us a bright and lively moment with some charming wordplay in its lyrics. Saratoga canters along making great use of loud and quiet contrasts. Use Me Up is intimately acoustic with some lovely harmonies. Fly Right closes the album’s first half with a catchy melody and a slow-growing country arrangement. It’s a highlight.

Northern Lights opens the second half of the album in rousing fashion. Oh Mama Won’t You Write Me is a sublimely vulnerable moment before Let Down gives us playful keys tempered by regret-tinged lyrics. It’s another highlight. Natalie feels searching with some pleading vocals. It gives us the album’s emotional climax in its outro. Summertime Whiskey then rounds things off with a dreamy, hazy ballad.

What a triumph Oliver Hazard is! It’s clear that the trio of the same name know what they’re doing and have song writing talent in abundance. Oliver Hazard have just completed a tour with Houndmouth and I feel there’s only a matter of time before they’re the headliners.

You can check out Oliver Hazard below.